Bing has launched a new image search feature that allows you to filter image results by license. You can elect to see only results in the public domain, those that are “free to share and use,” “free to share and use commercially,” “free to modify, share, and use,” and “Free to modify, share, and use commercially.”
This could prove to be an incredibly useful tool for bloggers and media publications who don’t have licensing deals with image services. It could prevent situations like this lawsuit BuzzFeed is currently facing.
Bing Images program manager Rizwan Ansary writes in a blog post:
Today, we are excited to offer the “Search by License” feature for Bing image search. At Bing, we love helping creative artists whether you’re a blogger, teacher, student or even a small business owner looking to market your latest creation. We understand how frustrating it can be to when you come up with just the right blog post or the perfect poster for your class project, only to realize you don’t have the appropriate rights to use them the way you intended to. Searching for photos online should be a simple and pleasant experience leaving you with just as many hair follicles as you started with!
And so today we invite you to try out the new license filter on Bing Images. Whether you are a blogger who loves to write, a teacher helping students with a project or a publisher looking to create commercial flyers, we have made it easier and faster for you to fetch licensed pictures for your work. Previously, you had to find photos and then individually cycle through the details of each photo to verify if there is any license information. Now, Bing has simplified this process to allow you to filter by usage rights and only see images that have a Creative Commons license.
Microsoft has also made the feature accessible in Office 2013, where you can search from Bing directly from the application.
Google has a similar feature, but it’s buried in the advanced search settings, and a little bit harder to find.